World traveler by land and by sea, early technology adopter, and life-long-learner, LuVerne Underhill is also a musician, SCUBA diver, and was a speaker of French! Her many interests and talents have led her to living an exciting life.
Her interest in travel began early because her father was a Naval Reserve officer, and the family was stationed in Rhode Island, California, Virginia, and French Morocco during his reserve service. She took advantage of this opportunity to see how other people lived and to explore the world.
LuVerne attended the University of California in Berkeley where she studied French, Psychology and History. She did not work actively until her children were in school. She then got a job in a completely different venue as an operations officer of a bank branch. She began to study accounting through the bank education system and found she had an aptitude. She had always been good at math.
After her husband Gary opened a Real Estate Office, she did the bookkeeping and reports. It was at this time that they purchased an Apple II Plus and she found she an aptitude for technology. To learn how to use it, she read all of the documentation that came with it and found it fascinating,. She says, “I think that I would have studied computer science if that had been available when I was in college.”
Next she began her pre-retirement occupation as the Assistant Treasurer and Computer Administrator of a United Methodist Conference in Arizona where she learned to use an IBM System 36 and eventually was the administrator of a LAN in the office.
Upon retiring, LuVerne and her husband became full-timers from 2002 to 2017 after their first summer to travel for three months to Alaska in their motorhome. As full-timers they traveled to all of the United States (including Hawaii by ship) and to all of the Provinces of Canada.
Her expanding knowledge of technology continued as they traveled. She recounts, “At first we became authorized satellite installers in order to use StarBand as our internet provider. That eventually evolved to a modem that allowed us to insert our Verizon card and use the signal for our computers, then mifi came along. In the meantime we updated our flip phones to the smartphone.”
While involved with Family Motor Coach Association, she joined a Chapter of musicians called the Frustrated Maestros who entertain at FMCA rallies. As a service to this group, LuVerne provided storage on her Google Drive to share the music for those who didn’t have their own hard copy. She also coordinated with the band leader to create a slide show coordinated with the music for a salute to the military for one of their performances.
Learning from Geeks on Tour
During this time as a member of the FMCA, she took classes where she was introduced to the Geeks on Tour. She explains: “Since 2007 I have attended many classes in my interest areas, which include mapping, Google photos and planning trips for the future, first in the motorhome and now as we travel on cruises and driving trips. We belong to several of the same chapters in FMCA as Jim and Chris, and we keep in touch now by watching the “What Does This Button Do” show. We also have a common interest in SCUBA Diving, but due to our age, we are no longer actively pursuing this sport. I believe that as long as I have an active mind I will continue to learn.”
Since many of her friends knew that she enjoyed working on the computer, she was approached to create a webpage for a couple of the FMCA organizations the she belonged to. However, she no longer is the webmaster since they sold the motorhome and moved into a “stick” house in Arizona. She related that Chris provided assistance to several of the members of these chapters to help them decide how they wanted to move forward with that job.
Moving forward herself with learning and using technology LuVerne says: “I have a BLOG, but after connecting with my family on Facebook, it is no longer an active place. I do enjoy genealogy and actively contribute and update my link on Ancestry.com.”
Her enthusiasm really comes through when she speaks of Google photos: “I really love Google Photos. Everything I take is backed up to the cloud. The photos are easy to edit. I don’t do much editing, but have found it so easy to do. Having the digital camera on the Smartphone allows me to keep on taking pictures and then throwing out what I don’t like. I have just purchased a PIXEL 2XL. I’m excited to get it up and working. My husband will get my old PIXEL XL. He’s not as techie as I am. We are on Project FI and so far that has worked out very well for us. We will see how well it works in Ecuador, before we fly to the Galapagos and get on board the ship where we are taking a one week cruise in April 2018. I have created a map of the areas we will visit.”
So you can see that after 61 years of marriage and life of varied experiences and adventures, LuVerne and Gary are not slowing down. The world continues to be theirs to explore.